Fieldwork CPD Opportunity 

Fieldwork Development Weekend
27 – 29th May
At Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Learning
Kincraig, Inverness-shire, PH21 1NG

Free programme for all teachers + Free transport from Edinburgh
This event aims to provide practitioners with confidence and ideas to deliver creative, quality fieldwork in a relevant context.
Aimed primarily at teachers of Biology, Geography and Environmental Science, we will cover ideas for investigations and fieldwork skills pertinent to all levels including CfE Higher and Advanced Higher.
Accommodation and catering are available at Lagganlia.  This is free to teachers in City of Edinburgh Council schools and available at cost for non-CEC teachers.  
To register, or for more information, please email

Programme overview:
Friday 27th May, 18:00 –
Gathering data; part 1:  A chance to set a multitude of equipment to gather data on every aspect of our surrounding environment.
There’s an app for that: Using technology to capture fieldwork data
Dinner & social
Saturday 28th May, 09:00 – 18:00
Using our environment:  A holistic approach to investigating the environment through fieldwork
Gathering data; part 2:   Retrieve the equipment set Friday evening and record the data
Using the data; part 1:    The role of technology in data analysis and display
Using the data; part 2:    Application of statistics to analyse and describe the data
Sunday 29th May, 09:00 – 13:00
Sites to impress:  Some local highlights with great opportunities for fieldwork
Attendance for only part of the programme is possible – please email for details

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There appears to have been a misinterpretation of some comments that were made at a meeting and I would like to clarify a couple of points:

All three Geography Principal Assessors, for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, are qualified and experienced geographers. In addition the new geography Subject Implementation Manager (SIM), is also a qualified and experienced geographer. The secondment for the previous SIM ended because her school was unable to release her for a longer period than previously agreed.

E.Batty , SAGT president 2015-2017

Worldwise Quiz 2017-18

SAGT Quiz Time Again!!
This year entry is free to schools with SAGT members. Entry forms and topics are attached.

This year we are going to try and use technology to enable those who perhaps live in a rural location or can’t get to a local heat to take part using Google Hangouts or Skype, or some other similar type of application. Hopefully there will be regional heats held before the busiest time of year between January and Easter, with the National Final being held in June 2018.

Closing date for entries is 3rd November.

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CPD Opportunity – Social Studies Digital Learning Day

(Information below has been taken from the Education Scotland blog:

Organised and funded by Education Scotland, the day aims to engage practitioners in lively professional dialogue about the success and challenges of using digital learning in the Social Studies classroom. Download the full programme here:

There are 50 places available on a first come, first served basis and the day is open to all primary teachers and secondary Social Subject teachers. Book your place now:

This is a free event, including a free lunch. However, delegates will be required to meet their own travel costs. 

Keynote Speakers

1) Active History
Russel Tarr – Head of History at the International School of Toulouse

Russel will share the digital applications and programs he has developed for his websites All of these have been designed for the students in his own history classroom.

2) Digital Commonwealth 2104
Professor David McGillivray – Chair in Event and Digital Cultures
School of Media, Culture and Society, University of the West of Scotland

Jennifer Jones – Project Coordinator, Digital Commonwealth 2014

David and Jennifer will share the success of the Digital Commonwealth to engage learners in developing and applying skills in digital media.

3) Digital Learning with the BBC

BBC Learning Online

Learn about new online resources to support CfE, the success of School News Report and the creativity of BBC Scotland’s L.A.B.

4) Reconnecting with Glow

Glow Futures Team, Education Scotland

The Glow team want to highlight some of what’s on offer and would like to invite delegates to have a fresh look at how Glow can help support learning and teaching.

 – Apps and Maps – Annette Iafrate, Geography teacher, Gryffe High School, Houston
As one of Microsoft’s Innovative Educator Experts, Annette will share her passion for digital learning through using a variety of apps on tablets and ipods that integrate ICT seamlessly into her lessons, as well as creating class textbooks in OneNote.

– Digital Storytelling – Philip Donnolly, Education Manager, Scottish Film
A former Senior Lecturer on Glasgow University’s Initial Teacher Education programme, Philip has long been a passionate innovator and exponent of digital technology in the classroom.

Delegates will learn simple but powerful methods for pupils to use Digital Video to reinforce curricular learning across all ages and contexts of Social Studies. Delegates will develop skills in voice overs, selecting still and moving images, and using video editing software

– Online Mapping – Carol Blackwood, Digimap For Schools
Online mapping can be the starting point of any lesson that has place as a concept. Carol will show delegates how to get pupils to be creative and present information to demonstrate their understanding of something they are being taught.

– Citizen Journalism – Anna Brocklehurst, Sky Skills Studio (TBC)
A team from Sky Skills Studio will show delegates how to combine a range of digital and presentation skills to develop learners abilities to research, debate and report on news and politics.


Changes to assessment of SQA National 5 Geography


These changes will take effect from session 2017-18 onwards.
More detailed information will be provided in the revised Course Specifications, which will be available by the end of April 2017.

There will be no change to the assignment; however the revised Course Specification will provide further clarification on the conditions for assessment. The assignment will continue to be worth 20 marks and will now be worth 20% of the course assessment.

Changes to exam
The question paper will be extended to include more questions and the number of marks will increase from 60 marks to 80. The duration of the exam will therefore also increase. Candidates will be asked to answer questions on physical environments (including a choice from two questions relating to the type of landscape studied) and human environments. Candidates will also answer two questions, from a choice of six, on global issues. The exam will now be worth 80% of the course assessment.

The information above has been reposted from the SQA website.

SQA have also publish a document:
Changes to assessment of National Courses: Your Questions Answered

SQA – NQ Geography Review Report 

The National Qualifications Geography Review Report was published today. 
It is included below and can also be found on the subject page (under updates & announcements, review report)

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Geography: it’s the must-have Higher…

The text that follows is part of an article written in the Guardian 13th August 2015 and whilst it relates to A level Geography there is much here that is true for our students too here in Scotland.

“Geography is a subject for our times. It is inherently multidisciplinary in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences. Geographers get to learn data analysis, and to read Robert Macfarlane. They learn geographic information systems. They can turn maps from a two-dimensional representation of a country’s physical contours into a tool that illustrates social attributes or attitudes: not just where people live, but how, what they think and how they vote. They learn about the physics of climate change, or the interaction of weather events and flood risk, or the way people’s behaviour is influenced by the space around them.

All these are not just intrinsically interesting and valuable. They also encourage ways of seeing and thinking that make geographers eminently employable, which is why, according to the latest information from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, only 5.8% of geography graduates were still job-hunting six months after they graduated, against an average of 7.3%.”

There are further comments from the Royal Geographical Society specifically relating to increased uptake of Geography in England and Wales

Our colleagues at the Scottish Royal Geographical Society (RSGS) based in Perth have been working on producing some excellent materials which will enable us to further promote Geography to our students and points out the value of studying Geography at National 4/5, Higher, Advanced Higher and beyond. These will be available to all teachers in due course.

The link below is to a piece written by Mike Robinson CEO of RSGS “everyone is a geographer”


Sad News..

“We have all been greatly saddened by the sudden loss of our SAGT Treasurer, John Vannet who passed away on Monday 26th May. John has had a long association with SAGT holding different posts of office over the years. He was an unfailing supporter of Geography and Geography teachers and was held in very high esteem by all who came into contact with him. We will miss his cheery presence at meetings, conference and on field visits very much and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family. “

Liz Crisp, 
SAGT President (on behalf of SAGT members)